The videogame designers of the future brought their A-game to the Florida Polytechnic University campus on Nov. 21 for the semi-annual Game Expo.
This was the largest Game Expo the University has hosted, with about 30 games on display from Florida Poly students taking the Game Design 1 and 2 classes. Students, faculty, staff, and visitors were able to play and learn about the games.
The students’ games ranged from beautifully simple to cutting edge, with entries from worlds as varied as virtual reality, rhythm gaming, shooter games, and dungeon crawlers.
Senior Mitchell Pienias created a game called “Schmoovin,” a movement-based game that requires players to use grappling hooks as they search for five purple cubes of destiny.
“Being able to put together games of this quality just feels really awesome and I’m happy to be part of it,” said Pienias, a computer science major from Chicago. “I’m super proud of everyone who’s made a game and it’s super exciting to see all these people putting together these really cool-looking games.”
Dr. Bradford Towle, assistant professor of computer science at Florida Poly, said the expo helps students gain a real-world understanding of the game development process while also giving them good work examples for their portfolios.
“This is the most consistent and above-average quality that we’ve had,” Towle said of the entries to the expo. “They all did great work.”
Omar Montesinos, a senior majoring in computer science, exhibited his game called “Apex Hunters,” which follows Epsilon, a genetically-modified wolf equipped with a high-tech backpack that fires a machine gun to eliminate enemies while completing missions.
“If you have a passion for it, coming up with the ideas is easy,” said the Venezuela native. “This is a great opportunity for us. It’s a good way to show off our skills in a real, professional environment.”
Elizabeth James, a senior from Tampa majoring in computer science, said the development experience allowed her to merge two of her favorite game genres: role-playing games and rhythm games. She created “Lost in the Rhythm,” a game in which a pop star on an intergalactic tour fights aliens via music to recover her spaceship and get back on tour.
“It feels really nice to be able to present myself with all these other great games,” she said.
James added that her project-based education at Florida Poly has given her the skills and the experience to take on a game design career after graduation.
Director of Communications